Contributed by Bethany Duarte, second year ministry student.
My wildflower garden has been quite the conversation piece between God and me this summer. From the planning and planting process to waiting for blooms, there have been as many lessons as there have been weeds and worms. So, it comes as no real surprise when there was a beautiful encouragement tucked in the dirt right next to my giant sunflower seeds.
I’ve grown up around flowers and plants, so I’m familiar with the rather drawn out process, but this was my first time growing sunflowers. As a result, my expectations were about as high as the seed packet said the plant would be. Inch by inch, the stalks grew taller. I watered them daily and gave them special Miracle Gro ‘bloom booster,’ which promised to make the blooms grow sooner, brighter and bigger. I was so anxious to enjoy the harvest. Every day, I looked outside and exclaimed, “they’re growing,” marking each and every inch along the wood grain of the fence.
Honest moment – by the time they were three feet tall, I was getting impatient. I wanted blooms. I wanted color and happiness in the form of big yellow petals waving in the sunshine. I wanted my harvest.
In the meantime, more than a dozen other varieties of wildflowers grew unhindered at the base of my sunflowers, filling the bed with shades of pink, purple, orange and blue, all beautiful in their own right. Of course, all I could see were the sunflowers that seemed so slow to grow.
Oblivious to my impatience, they kept growing inches above the fence before I saw a bloom begin to open. All I could think was finally as I gave my first bloom its own photo shoot.
What I failed to see in my impatience was that my plants now towered more than six feet high, and that six of my neighbors’ houses now had a front row seat to my sunflower show. A week later, there are five blooms open and pointing towards my neighbors, ready to bless others as they have me.
Oh, the impact of a simple sunflower.
So why the post about flowers? Because God was speaking to me so clearly through His creation. This time, my lesson was about seedtime, harvest, and the dirty “p” word – patience. I would have enjoyed a sunflower bloom at four feet alone, but now, the harvest of joy is greater as my neighbors can smile along with me.
As this slowly dawned on me, I could hear his gentle encouragement. “Don’t give up on the seed that seems to be taking forever to grow and bloom. Let patience have her perfect work because your harvest isn’t just for you. It’s for the world. I alone knows how deep and wide that root system needs to be to support you during droughts and storms, and I know how tall and strong that stem needs to be to withstand the wind and support you. I know, and I haven’t forgotten. Even in the waiting season when you see nothing, I am faithful.”
Be encouraged by the same words from the heart of your Creator. Whatever season you’re in, whether it be a planting and watering season, or that anxious one right before harvest, let patience have her perfect work. He hasn’t forgotten, He is faithful, and He is maximizing your harvest to impact not just you, but the world around you for generations to come!
“But let patience have her perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:4